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Board Celebrates Kindness of Four Special Students

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The creativity and generosity of four recent Connolly Elementary School graduates was celebrated during the monthly Board of Education meeting on Sept. 25.

Last year, four fifth graders at Connolly decided that they wanted to do something to give back to the school, so they pitched an idea to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna to plant a tree that would allow kids to read a book, talk with friends or simply relax rather than running around on the playground during recess.

“I learned a lot during this process,” said current Robert M. Finley Middle School student Michael Renga. “We wanted to leave something that we could come back and visit when we are older, and we have kids. We want to know we made a difference.”

Renga, along with classmates Caroline DaSilva, Whitney Maltalevich and Isabella Santiago, did extensive research on types of trees, growth rates, pricing and other factors. Renga also added that he learned the meaning of “red tape.”

“No amount of red tape could stop Michael and his classmates,” Dr. Rianna said. “We are so proud of our students for taking the initiative to make a difference at their school. I can’t wait to see all of the great things they accomplish in the future.”